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Oxygen and strontium isotope evidence for mobility in Roman Winchester

By H. Eckardt, C. Chenery, P. Booth, J.A. Evans, A. Lamb and G. Muldner


Artefacts and burial rites in the late Roman cemetery at Lankhills School, Winchester, southern England, were used by Clarke (1979) to distinguish between local Romano-British individuals and migrants thought to be from the Danube region, a suggestion tested through isotope analysis by Evans et al. (2006a,b). This paper reports strontium (87Sr/86Sr) and oxygen (δ18O) isotope data for tooth enamel sampled from a further 40 individuals from more recent excavations on the same site. Results suggest that up to a quarter of the sampled Lankhills individuals were incomers, with several individuals possibly originating from the Hungarian Basin and the Southern Mediterranean. However, there was no clear link between isotopic signature and archaeological origin attribution, suggesting that in many cases burial practice was dictated by factors other than ‘ethnicity’, such as kinship, marriage or cultural and political preferences

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jas.2009.09.010
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